Nhill Military Vehicle Rendezvous 2017

NAHC
NAHC

The Nhill Aviation Heritage Centre (NAHC) hosted a great Military Vehicle Rendezvous in Nhill, Victoria on Saturday June 3rd, 2017. Not only were military vehicles present but also a selection of aircraft, classic cars and of course the NAHC centrepiece at the Nhill Aerodrome, the Avro Anson Mk.I restoration project.

Mini Vehicle Parade and Tribute Ceremony

The Nhill Aerodrome was a former RAAF Empire Air Training Scheme air base in World War Two and home to RAAF No. 2 Air Navigation School,  No. 1 Operation Training Unit,  No. 97 Squadron Reserve and the Air Armament and Gas School. The base operated from 1941-1946 predominately flying the Avro Anson to conduct air navigation and armaments training, including bombing training which was completed over the nearby Little Desert (a National Park since 1968). 10,000 men and women trained at Nhill during World War Two.

On the Saturday morning, the NAHC held a tribute ceremony at the Nhill Cenotaph for the men and women who trained at Nhill and served far and wide with the RAAF. Dignitaries included the Mayor, NAHC committee members and most importantly local World War Two veterans. Many of those who trained at Nhill gave their lives whilst defending their country, including seven airmen lost in an air accident near Nhill, who are buried in the town cemetery, and four who were based at Nhill but are buried in Mildura following a training accident near there (a memorial to these men and all those who served at Nhill can be found near the Cenotaph). Lest We Forget.

Nhill Military Vehicle Rendezvous mini-parade 2017
Nhill Military Vehicle Rendezvous mini-parade participants
Nhill Military Vehicle Rendezvous mini-parade 2017
Nhill Military Vehicle Rendezvous mini-parade – US Army Dodge truck
Nhill Military Vehicle Rendezvous mini-parade 2017
Nhill Military Vehicle Rendezvous mini-parade
Nhill Military Vehicle Rendezvous mini-parade 2017
Nhill Military Vehicle Rendezvous mini-parade – WW2 Willys Jeep and Canadian Military Pattern (CMP) truck
Nhill Military Vehicle Rendezvous memorial service
Tribute ceremony at the Nhill Cenotaph to the RAAF personnel who served in Nhill and gave their life in the defence of Australia & the RAAF Base Nhill memorial

Nhill Aviation Heritage Centre

The Avro Anson Mk.I (serial number W2364) was a former Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) twin-engine maritime patrol, air crew training and liaison aircraft built in 1941 and operated in these roles and then as an instructional airframe, until sold as surplus in 1953. The ultimate aim of the NAHC is to fully restore the aircraft with functioning engines to enable it to be taxied but not flown. Steady progress has continued on the Anson since my 2015 and 2016 updates on the restoration project.

Nhill Aviation Heritage Centre Avro Anson Mk.I restoration project - June 3rd, 2017
Nhill Aviation Heritage Centre Avro Anson Mk.I restoration project – June 3rd, 2017 – note the original RAAF yellow tail fabric
Nhill Aviation Heritage Centre Avro Anson Mk.I restoration project - June 3rd, 2017
Nhill Aviation Heritage Centre Avro Anson Mk.I restoration project – June 3rd, 2017
Nhill Aviation Heritage Centre Avro Anson Mk.I restoration project - June 3rd, 2017
NAHC Avro Anson Mk.I crew compartment and cockpit – June 3rd, 2017
Nhill Aviation Heritage Centre Avro Anson Mk.I restoration project – June 3rd, 2017
Nhill Aviation Heritage Centre Avro Anson Mk.I restoration project - June 3rd, 2017
Nhill Aviation Heritage Centre Avro Anson Mk.I restoration project – June 3rd, 2017
Link Trainer Nhill Aviation Heritage Centre
Link Trainer (A13-54 and A13-60) restoration projects at the NAHC – an early flight instrument and flight dynamics training simulator produced during the 1930’s through to the 1950’s by Link Aviation Devices Inc. in New York (the Link Trainer was first developed in 1929). They were a key pilot training component in World War Two for most Allied nations including Australia.
Engine and canopy collection at NAHC including Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah IX radial engines used in the Avro Anson - June 3rd, 2017
Engine and canopy collection at NAHC including Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah IX radial engines used in the Avro Anson – June 3rd, 2017
RAAF uniforms at NAHC Nhill Victoria
RAAF uniforms and memorabilia at NAHC
Remnants of the RAAF training days at Nhill
Remnants of the RAAF training days at Nhill
RAAF and Anson memorabilia at the NAHC Nhill Victoria
RAAF and Anson memorabilia and radio equipment at the NAHC

Bringing a Wirraway Home

The Nhill Military Vehicle Rendezvous was held for the very special purpose of raising funds to add to the NAHC campaign to purchase a CAC CA-16 Wirraway training and utility aircraft, another type that was operated by the RAAF at Nhill during World War Two. The aircraft in question is Wirraway A20-722 owned and restored by Borg Sorenson.

CAC Wirraway Nhill Fly In 2012
CAC CA-16 Wirraway A20-722 at the Nhill Fly In 2012
CAC Wirraway 722 at the 2016 Tyabb Airshow
CAC Wirraway A20-722 at the 2016 Tyabb Airshow

This Wirraway was delivered to the RAAF in August 1945 and struck off charge in October 1958 when it was sold off for parts. Borg recovered the remains of the airframe from a farm near Horsham (45 minutes from Nhill) in 1984 and began a long restoration in Tyabb, Victoria using parts from other Wirraway aircraft A20-512 (also recovered from near Horsham) and A20-731. The Wirraway took its first post restoration flight on June 8th, 2002.

Borg Sorenson, a patron of the NAHC, wants to retire the aircraft to Nhill as an example of Australian engineering and has offered them the aircraft for just $300,000, under the condition it does not fly again (they plan to just display it as a taxiing aircraft). I briefly spoke with Borg and his wife during this event (a really nice couple) and they are confident the NAHC will raise the funds needed. It is a great offer, as no doubt he could sell it for significantly more on the open market but such a buyer would want to fly it for sure, rather than just preserve a piece of Australian history (it could also end up overseas in such a transaction).

The good news is that the NAHC are more than half way to raising the funds through support from the local community and donations. The Nhill Military Vehicle Rendezvous had plenty of people in attendance (over 500) and the proceeds of the event will no doubt have added much-needed funds to the tally (gate admission, a prize raffle, donations, food and drink sales, money from vehicle rides and more). Lets hope it takes them well forward to bringing the Wirraway home!

The official Military Vehicle Rendezvous opening ceremony in the Ahrens Hangar of the Nhill Aviation Heritage Centre and the CAC Wirraway fund tally chart
The official Military Vehicle Rendezvous opening ceremony conducted by NAHC Committee members and the Mayor in the Ahrens Hangar of the Nhill Aviation Heritage Centre and the CAC Wirraway fund tally chart

Aircraft Fly-In

Nhill Military Vehicle Rendezvous Fly In - Nhill Aerodrome June 3rd, 2017
Nhill Military Vehicle Rendezvous Fly In – Nhill Aerodrome June 3rd, 2017
Tiger Moth Nhill Military Vehicle Rendezvous Fly In - Nhill Aerodrome June 3rd, 2017
de Havilland DH.82 Tiger Moth conducting joy flights
Tiger Moth take-off at Nhill Aerodrome - June 3rd, 2017
Tiger Moth take-off at Nhill Aerodrome – June 3rd, 2017
Tiger Moth Nhill Aerodrome
The Tiger Moth was a popular attraction with plenty of joy flights taking place at the Nhill Aerodrome
Nhill Military Vehicle Rendezvous Fly In - Nhill Aerodrome June 3rd, 2017
Nhill Military Vehicle Rendezvous Fly In – Nhill Aerodrome June 3rd, 2017
Firing up a Nanchang CJ-6 Nhill Aerodrome 2017
Firing up a Nanchang CJ-6
Nanchang CJ-6 Chinese trainer taxiing past the crowd at Nhill Aerodrome - June 3rd, 2017
Nanchang CJ-6 Chinese trainer taxiing past the crowd at Nhill Aerodrome – June 3rd, 2017
Nanchang CJ-6 take-off at Nhill Aerodrome - June 3rd, 2017
Nanchang CJ-6 take-off at Nhill Aerodrome – June 3rd, 2017
Brumby 610 Evolution & de Havilland DH.82 Tiger Moth - two very different generations of aircraft meet at Nhill!
Brumby 610 Evolution & de Havilland DH.82 Tiger Moth – two very different generations of aircraft meet at Nhill!
Refueling and relocating the Tiger Moth Nhill Aerodrome
Refueling and relocating the Tiger Moth
There were plenty of light aircraft present during the Nhill Military Vehicle Rendezvous on June 3rd, 2017
There were plenty of light aircraft present during the Nhill Military Vehicle Rendezvous on June 3rd, 2017
Light aircraft at Nhill Aerodrome
Light aircraft at Nhill Aerodrome

Military Vehicles & Classic Cars

Nhill Military Vehicles Rendezvous - June 3rd, 2017
Nhill Military Vehicles Rendezvous – June 3rd, 2017
Nhill Military Vehicles Rendezvous - June 3rd, 2017
From Willys Jeeps to old Fords – Nhill Military Vehicles Rendezvous – June 3rd, 2017
Bren Gun Carrier Nhill Military Vehicles Rendezvous - June 3rd, 2017
Universal Carrier/Bren Gun Carrier – Nhill Military Vehicles Rendezvous – June 3rd, 2017
Nhill Military Vehicles Rendezvous - June 3rd, 2017
Trucks and jeeps – Nhill Military Vehicles Rendezvous – June 3rd, 2017
Nhill Military Vehicles Rendezvous - June 3rd, 2017
Nhill Military Vehicles Rendezvous – June 3rd, 2017
Nhill Military Vehicles Rendezvous - June 3rd, 2017
Ferret Scout Car and Willys Jeep – Nhill Military Vehicles Rendezvous – June 3rd, 2017
Nhill Military Vehicles Rendezvous - June 3rd, 2017
Military Re-enactment Group military vehicles at the Nhill Military Vehicles Rendezvous – June 3rd, 2017
Nhill Military Vehicles Rendezvous - June 3rd, 2017
Military re-enactors and vehicle rides – Nhill Military Vehicles Rendezvous – June 3rd, 2017
Whimpey Desert Tours Nhill Military Vehicles Rendezvous - June 3rd, 2017
Wimmera people may recognise Whimpey’s Little Desert Tours Land Rover
Nhill Military Vehicles Rendezvous - June 3rd, 2017
1950’s era Humber truck and jeep – Nhill Military Vehicles Rendezvous – June 3rd, 2017
Nhill Military Vehicles Rendezvous - June 3rd, 2017
Nhill Military Vehicles Rendezvous – June 3rd, 2017
Nhill Military Vehicles Rendezvous - June 3rd, 2017
Nhill Military Vehicles Rendezvous – June 3rd, 2017
Nhill Military Vehicles Rendezvous - June 3rd, 2017
Willys Jeep, Bren Gun Carrier and RAAF bicycle
Nhill Military Vehicles Rendezvous - June 3rd, 2017
From WW2 jeeps to a modern-day Australian Army truck – Nhill Military Vehicles Rendezvous – June 3rd, 2017
Nhill Military Vehicles Rendezvous - June 3rd, 2017
Willys Jeep and Dodge US Army truck
Inspecting military vehicles past and present at Nhill Aerodrome - June 3rd, 2017
Inspecting military vehicles past and present at Nhill Aerodrome – June 3rd, 2017
Classic cars and trucks - Nhill Military Vehicles Rendezvous - June 3rd, 2017
Classic cars and trucks – Nhill Military Vehicles Rendezvous – June 3rd, 2017
A fantastic 1962 Ford Thunderbird Landau at the Nhill Military Vehicles Rendezvous - June 3rd, 2017
A fantastic 1962 Ford Thunderbird Landau at the Nhill Military Vehicles Rendezvous – June 3rd, 2017

The Nhill Aviation Heritage Centre put on another great event and should be applauded for their efforts in keeping history alive in a small country town. Lets wish them well in their ongoing restoration of the Avro Anson and the acquisition of the CAC Wirraway.

Donations

If you can help out with a donation to the NAHC to contribute to the Wirraway Fund, all monies will be receipted and donations exceeding $2.00 AUD are tax deductible in Australia. Payments can be made as follows:

Bank transfer to Nhill Aviation Heritage Centre Inc.
National Australia Bank – BSB: 083-752
Account No: 83325-2480
Please include a reference – (Your Name) Wirraway.
Please send contact details including phone number to treasurer@nhillaviationheritagecentre.com.au

OR

Cheque payable to NAHC Inc. Wirraway project
and mailed to PO Box 42, Nhill Vic 3418
please include your contact details, name, address,
phone number and email address (if you have one).

For further information please feel free to contact the NAHC via email: admin@nhillaviationheritagecentre.com.au

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